The Government is planning to cut the national budget for local pharmacies and up to 3,000 of them could face closure.
I am supporting the campaign by pharmacists and others to stop this happening.
The pharmacy is much more than a place to get medicine. It provides a range of NHS services and ensures people can get face-to-face and professional healthcare advice without an appointment.
You can get personalised medicine advice, help to quit smoking, advice on sexual health, treatment for common ailments, and advice on preventing disease. Most pharmacies now have consultation rooms where you can talk with your pharmacist without being overheard.
With around 14,000 community pharmacies nationwide, most of us are also within 20 minutes of one.
Pharmacies are part of the fabric of communities. They provide employment and are a health and social care asset close to where people live, work and shop. They can also relieve the pressure on doctors’ surgeries by advising people quickly and effectively.
A petition to stop such cuts has already gathered tens of thousands of signatures. The basic case is that balancing the budget could be a false economy and doesn’t remove the demand. A big closure programme would shift it to A&E departments and GPs.
For more information and to sign an e-petition see http://supportyourlocalpharmacy.org/ or use #lovemypharmacy on Twitter.